Meteorite crash in Russia injures 500 people

A meteor crashing to earth in central Russia has terried thousands and  and injured hundreds of people. More than 500 people have been injured.. Fragments of at least one meteorite were seen falling from the morning sky in the Chelyabinsk region at around 9am local time, around 1,500km east of Moscow. Witnesses described feeling a pressure wave and hearing explosions overhead as the object hurtled to earth. Windows shattered and there were localised power cuts, sparking panic among residents. The emergencies ministry said that 20,000 rescue workers had been dispatched to help the injured and locate those needing help. Still images from video shows the trail of a falling object above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk Five people have been seriously injured  Almost all the video of the event was recorded on the ever-present Russian dashboard cam, a standard fixture for motorists in that country.  This meteorite incidentally is not the one which has been predicted by NASA and is expected to pass some safe 17,000 miles from earth today. 

Nadir Mohamed to retire as boss of Rogers

Nadir Mohamed will resign by next year from his position as CEO of Rogers Communications and Media. He will leave the Toronto-based company by January 2014. Mr. Mohamed has been with Rogers since 2000 and headed its wireless division before taking over the top job in 2008, after Ted Rogers Jr. passed away. The company said its board will appoint a committee to begin an international search for a new chief executive but neither Edward Rogers III or his sister Melinda Rogers will put their names forward, although they will be involved in the search.

Florida police release video in snow birds killings

Police in Hallandale Beach Florida have released a surveillance video recorded the night before a Toronto couple was found killed in their Venetian Park apartment. The video shows a woman (inset) walking from the front to the rear of the couple’s home. Later, the woman walks back to the street. On Jan. 10, David Pichosky, 71 and Rochelle Wise, 66, were found dead and the investigation so far is proving to be a slow one.  Police have been very close with details saying only they consider the case a double homicide and not a murder-suicide. Last month, officers traveled to Canada to get more information on the couple.

NHL lockout knocked the hops out of beer sales

Molson Coors tells the CBC that said it could take months for the brewer’s sales and profits to fully recover from the NHL lockout. “The impact that it had in the second half of last year is permanent,” CEO Peter Swinburn said Thursday after the company reported its year-end results. Sales to retail fell 13 per cent, or seven per cent excluding an extra week of activity in the 2011 period, citing hockey and higher taxes in Quebec as the key factors. Molson Coor’s Canadian market share declined one share point on an estimated industry volume decline of five per cent, excluding the extra week of business in 2011. Funny, we were worried about the future of hockey.  CBC.ca  

“Top of Toronto” break-ins warning from TPS

Toronto Police are warning residents neighborhoods north of Lawrence Ave. about a series of break-ins in recent weeks. They say that homes have been broken into in the area of Bathurst Street to the west, Bayview Avenue to the east, Lawrence Avenue to the south and Highway 401 to the north.  The suspects have been gaining entry through the rear of homes and looting the place of small electronics like laptops and tablets. Residents are reminded to secure window and doors. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-3206, or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477). And although this police warning draws a line along Lawrence Ave., it’s easy to imagine that these criminals could easily find targets to the south of that street. 

Violating the Traffic Stops for Dummies Manual

Events today in Florida have made this morning’s excitment about a so-called International Driving Permit quite inconsequential. It seems the state was rather intimidated by the media blitz over this document which was said to permit the translation of licenses into ten languages. They now say this would somehow violate the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (of all things). Actually, it would violate the Traffic Stops for Dummies Manual too because Canadian licenses are published in English and Florida police speak — duh — English. 

RioCan set to buy 1860 Bayview at Broadway

The large Canadian commercial real estate owner and manager RioCan has announced this morning that it has “waived conditions pursuant to a purchase and sale agreement” for 1860 Bayview Ave. at Broadway Ave.  This is the old Brennan’s Pontiac site which is now being developed by Kingsett and Trinity Devleopments as a commercial site anchored by Whole Foods grocery store. The release says that RioCan, which owns both the Sunnybrook Plaza and the Leaside Centre on Laird Drive, will be acquiring the completed site at 1860 Bayview on a forward purchase basis at an expected purchase price of $58 million. The Whole foods store is said to be planned at 50,220 square feet.

“International” permit required to drive in Florida

This post has been updated — see above. A new law has come into effect in Florida which requires Canadians to have an what is known as an International Driving Permit to drive in that state. You have to buy it Canada at the CAA and although the Florida government is all very sorry about the inconvenience to its Canadian friends, you have got to have it. It comes as a large case of “Who Knew” to millions of snow birds but the legislation was effective in Florida on Jan. 1, 2013. The document apparently permits an easy translation of the license into ten languages. The CAA says it will try to get the state to suspend the rule for Canadians which would seem to be a no-brainer because the common language is English. The CAA is urging drivers to get the permit if they are heading to Florida for the March Break.

Concierge condom service leads the 4-pack flicks

Time once again for the South Bayview Bulldog’s eclectic four-pack pick of video flicks. We begin with sex (but not much) and the tale of New York University student Kyle McCabe and his concierge condom service. Heading clockwise, an update on the Princess Triumph cruise ship which is now heading back to port with many of the washrooms out of service after an engine room fire. The company says things are not as bad as the media is making out  but it looks like another case of cruise ship megolomania — the ship is carriyng 4,000 souls. Bottom right is an exquisitely beautiful look back to this month’s Vienna Philharmonic Ball, part of the Vienna Carnival. Lush Life on the Danube. And finally, this is what happens when eggs meet art. The result is an entertaining fundraising event in the British capital.  Videos Page

Upload transit, highways to Metrolinx: Hudak

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak says he is all for building subways in Toronto but he doesn’t see being able to pay for it until the Ontario Government is made much more efficient. Speaking at the Toronto Board of Trade today, Mr. Hudak said Toronto taxpayers should not asked to pay new fees or taxes for subway and highways until waste in the system is eliminated. The PC leader also said: “The first step in financing these projects is to root out the waste in government, strive to find efficiencies and savings in every facet of government.”  Premier Kathleen Wynne has called for a conversation about revenue tools to pay for new transit. Congestion fees, a regional sales tax and road tolls have all been suggested. Hudak said that conversation is premature because the current system needs fixing. First, says Hudak, the provincial government needs to upload subways and LRTs, and then regional highways including the Don Valley Parkway to Metrolinx, the provincial body charged with planning transit. 

New phone codes 437 and 365 coming in March

Beginning March 25, 2013 Toronto and its suburbs will have additional new telephone area codes. Toronto phone numbers will add with 437 to the established 416 and 647. In the areas currently served by 905 and 289, phones will be assigned numbers starting with 365. 

Fire kills owners, many dogs at boarding farm

Fire has killed the owners of a Beaverton area farm famed for boarding dogs. An unknown number of pets were killed. The fire happened Sunday at the Brock Township farm of Jerry and Eve Cudahy, about 100 kilometres from Toronto. The fire is being investigated but there appears to be no known cause at present. The Cudahys are near legendary among dog owners from the well-to-do areas of Toronto, including South Bayview. Several shocked owners raced to the scene yesterday when they heard of the fire. “I know of eight dogs who were lost in the fire and that’s just the handful from people who I know. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were as many as 20, 30 or 40,” Rob Godfrey, chairman  of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told the National Post. He was also a client of the Cudahys. One dog was found alive, in a cage on Mr. Cudahy’s truck, and several dogs staying in the barn were taken to a local animal shelter. Clients say Mr. Cudahy kept his own dogs in the barn and housed clients’ dogs in his house. “He has a long client list, many of the prominent people of Toronto. The news is hitting a lot of people in Rosedale and Forest Hill pretty hard. He helped everyone,” said Mr. Godfrey. “It is hard for me to believe Jerry is not going to be there anymore. It’s all so very tragic.”